Five People Killed after Sightseeing Floatplanes Collide in Alaska

The two tour planes carried 16 people near Ketchikan.

Danny Hoggard floatplane
The pilot and four passengers aboard this Mountain Air Services de Havilland Beaver were killed in the midair collision.Courtesy Danny Hoggard

Five people are dead after two floatplanes carrying passengers from a Royal Princess cruise excursion collided near Ketchikan, Alaska, on Monday afternoon, according to the cruise line.

Princess Cruises confirmed that the pilot of a de Havilland DHC-2 Beaver and all four passengers on board were killed in the collision with a Taquan Air de Havilland Otter DHC-3 shortly after 1 p.m. near George Inlet, about 8 miles north of Ketchikan. The 11 passengers and pilot aboard the Otter suffered various injuries, some life-threatening, according to media reports.

“We are deeply saddened by the tragic plane accident in Ketchikan yesterday, and are offering our full support to the investigating authorities as well as the traveling companions of guests involved,” the cruise line said in a statement. “We immediately activated our Princess Care Team in the region and will provide updates as we know more.”

The Otter was reportedly returning from a Misty Fjords tour while the Beaver operated by Mountain Air Services, carrying four passengers and the pilot, was on an independent tour.

Ten people involved in the crash were rescued by a passing ship. Three of those rescued were in serious condition and one was in critical condition, according to media reports. The others were in fair condition.

Taquan Air said in a statement that it has suspended all flights.

The National Transportation Safety Board launched a "go team" to investigate the collision on Monday.